Reports are coming in early Wednesday morning that a UPS Airbus A300 with registration N155UP has crashed just outside Birmingham Airport, short of runway 18. Early reports have not yet mentioned a possible cause, number of crew on board, or any injuries on the ground. WVTM-TV in Alabama claims the area of the crash was once a neighborhood, but is now an open field, owned by the airport.
The crashed flight may have been UPS 1354, from Louisville Intl (KSDF) to Birmingham, a short 45 minute hop. The mayor of Birmingham has confirmed 2 fatalities as a result of the crash, the pilot and co-pilot. There were no injuries on the ground. The NTSB has launched a full go-team to the site. Birmingham Airport remains open, and flights are operating on time. NOTAMs are reporting that runway 18/36 is closed, and PAPI lights as well as the ILS system for runway 18 are down.
The mayor of Birmingham, William Bell, noted a long debris field, with the airframe broken up into several parts, and that there were no storms in the area. AL.com reports that authorities tell them that no distress calls were made to the tower prior to the crash.
UPS has issued the following statement:
"At 6:11 a.m. EST, UPS Flight 1354 from Louisville, KY to Birmingham, AL, an A300 with two crewmembers, was involved in an accident on approach into the Birmingham airport. At this time, we have not confirmed the status of our pilots.
“This incident is very unfortunate, and our thoughts and prayers are with those involved,” said UPS Airlines President Mitch Nichols.
“We place the utmost value on the safety of our employees, our customers and the public. We will immediately engage with the National Transportation Safety Board’s investigation, and we will work exhaustively on response efforts,” continued Nichols.
UPS will release more facts about this accident as they become available, but the NTSB will be in charge of the investigation and will be the primary source of information going forward."
Airbus has issued the following statement:
"Airbus regrets to confirm that an A300-600F operated by UPS was involved in an accident shortly after 09.50hrs (UTC), at Birmingham, Alabama today. The aircraft was operating a scheduled service, Flight 1354, from Louisville, KY to Birmingham AL.
The aircraft involved in the accident, registered under the number N155UP (and with ‘manufacturer serial number’ MSN841), was delivered to UPS from the production line in 2003. The aircraft had accumulated approximately 11,000 flight hours in some 6,800 flights. It was powered by Pratt & Whitney engines. At this time no further factual information is available.
In line with the ICAO Annex 13 international convention, Airbus will provide full technical assistance to the French BEA as well as to the authorities who will be responsible for the accident investigation. A team of specialists from Airbus is being dispatched to Alabama.
The A300-600F is a twin-engined widebody freighter aircraft. The first A300-600F entered service in 1983. At the end of June 2013, 104 A300-600Fs were in service.
Airbus will make further factual information available as soon as the details have been confirmed. However, the investigation remains the entire responsibility of the relevant authorities and it would be inappropriate to speculate into the cause of the accident.
The concerns and sympathies of the Airbus employees go out to the families, friends and loved ones affected by the accident of Flight 1354."